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Photo by Juliana Tamayo
Just On clothing store
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Photo by Juliana Tamayo
Tomate clothing store
Juliana Tamayo gives some fashion tips and shopping advice for the Barcelona summer season.
When August comes, so do the heat and humidity, and it’s not easy getting dressed when all you want to do is stay fresh and comfortable. The temptation just to pull on the lightest/smallest/coolest outfit you have (viz. bathers and flip-flops) can be overwhelming.
But while this month is serious beach season in Barcelona, that doesn’t necessarily mean you to have dress as though you were on the beach for the whole month. What’s more, with the summer sales still on and the majority of shops offering air-conditioning, you have good reason to enjoy some major fashion retail therapy over the coming weeks.
One option is simply to head to the high-street stores. If you go down Portal del Ángel, make a trip to one of the city’s shopping centres or simply decide you’re brave enough for a spending spree on Passeig de Gràcia, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stores such as Women’Secret [sic.], Calzedonia, Oysho, Yamamay, Etam and ES Collection, all stocking the latest hot colours, such as electric blue, magenta and orange. From tiny bikinis and sophisticated swimwear at Calzedonia to Oysho’s button-up shirt range via ES Collection’s selection of beachwear for men, if you actually are planning on spending most of this month on the beach, you can do it in some style after a visit to any of these places.
However, for those of you who, like me, would rather not be in a swimsuit for the next 31 days and prefer to find smaller, one-off places that suit your individual style, head down to the Gòtic or Born neighbourhoods where you’ll find a great range of little shops amongst the cool, narrow streets. Just On, Tomate, Instinto, Studium and Como Agua de Mayo are all worth a look, or maybe try somewhere a little more upbeat such as Dresscode BCN. These are all independent shops that offer a variety of clothing options without the crowds or overwhelming choice. If you want elegance that isn’t too over-the-top for this time of year, these stores won’t disappoint; in fact, they might give you a hard time deciding what to buy, making at least one return trip inevitable.
For advice on what to purchase, talk to Javier and Bianchi, the owners of the cute, artsy fashion and jewellery store Just On at Plaça Sant Just (pictured above, left and right). They work together to inspire designers to sell their work to both locals and tourists; their philosophy is about being open and stylish, and discovering what looks best suit you. And because this store specialises in one-off pieces, you can be sure no one else around will look like you.
Another place worth a look is Tomate (above, centre), a fashion store that has been going for 13 years, despite being hidden away in the Barri Gòtic. They sell clothes created by both locals and foreigners living in Barcelona, with only a few of each design being produced to ensure exclusivity. The concept is to “sell local”, giving tourists the chance to feel like part of the city and residents the opportunity to admire the work of some of their fellow citizens.
So there really is no excuse not to keep up the style standards this month, whether you’re planning to spend most of it in Barceloneta or will be fighting through the crowds of tourists to get to work. And don’t forget, however hot it gets during the day, the cooler evenings mean you have every chance to show off your fashionable side this August.
Just On—Plaça Sant Just, 2, tel. 93 304 3978; www.konfusionbarcelona.com
Tomate—Banys Nous 22, tel. 93 301 3788
Instinto—Banys Nous 5, tel. 93 317 3273
Studium—Libreteria 17, tel. 93 310 1030
Como Agua de Mayo—Banys Nous 17, tel. 93 412 3172
Dresscode BCN—Lledó 10